That was, simply put, an inexcusable loss for Wake Forest. The Deacs were at home, on senior night, playing a team ranked in the high 100s in both the NET rankings and KenPom, and got completely outclassed in front of their home fans. To make matters worse, the loss now puts Wake in serious danger of once again having to play on Tuesday in the ACC Tournament. I thought those days were finally behind us, but I guess I was wrong.
UPDATE: Maybe I was wrong, because according to the ACC rules: “If three or more teams are tied in the standings, the following procedure will be used: 1) The combined record in conference games between the tied teams involved will be compiled. Ties will be broken and seeds assigned based on the winning percentage of the combined conference records. The higher winning percentage shall prevail, even if the number of games played against the team or group is unequal.” Because BC lost to Cuse twice and Wake once, they will be 1-3 against the tied teams, whereas Wake will be 1-2 if they lose to the Orange, so the Deacs would get the 9 seed.
The game started out great. Wake blitzed the Eagles right from the start and found themselves up 12-2 at the first TV timeout. It certainly felt like this was going to be a repeat of the first game, where the Deacs were up by around 30 points for most of the game.
Unfortunately, things weren’t that easy. Wake once again fell right back into all the things that have made them lose games this season: silly turnovers, poor defense, missing free throws, and bad rebounding. The Eagles had basically erased the deficit in the next 3 minutes. Wake went into the half up just 32-26.
I have no idea what happened to the Deacs in the second half, but it was not good. Wake was taking horrible shots and playing no defense, which allowed Boston College to go on a massive 27-3 run to get up by double digits. On offense, Wake was over passing the ball, giving up great shots for horrible shots with the shot clock running out. It looked like no one wanted to shoot the ball and really made it glaringly obvious how much this team misses Damari Monsanto—an incredible shooter who never lacked the confidence to let it fly when he was open. On defense, Quentin Post was dominating anyone Wake put on him to the tune of 19 points. I think the only Deac to really put up any resistance against him was the mascot, who basically ran over him during dance routine at a timeout.
It looked like Wake was just going to get run out of their own building, but Tyree Appleby decided to take over the game and basically single handedly will the Deacs back into it. Appleby and Daivien Williamson did most of the scoring for Wake down the stretch, scoring 23 and 20 points respectively on their senior night. They pretty much got no help, with no other player scoring in double figures. Despite that, the two seniors had Wake tied up a 69 all with 18 seconds remaining.
The Deacs were unable to get a stop on the final possession of the game, and Makai Ashton-Langford’s circus shot gave BC the lead with 2 seconds remaining. Wake turned the ball over on the inbound, and the Deacs dropped their 9th Acc game of the season to Boston College 69-71.
This was such a disappointing game for Wake, and I hate that Appleby and Williamson are going out like that.It’s starting to feel like this is just going to be another brutal ending to basketball season yet again. But I’ve been wrong before.